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Pakistan Pledges Cooperation

A police officer interrogates an unidentified Afghan national on the road leading to the American embassy in Islambad on Wednesday, September 12, 2001. Roads leading to American embassy have been blocked and security arround the U.S. Embassy and American Center has been tightened following the terrorist attacks on World Trade Center in New York
AP
A senior official told CBS News late Friday that Pakistan has given the United States an across-the-board "yes" on its request for help.

CBS National Security Correspondent David Martin reports Osama bin Laden and his training camps in neighboring Afghanistan are likely to be the first target of any sustained military operation. Pakistan is being asked to allow the United States overflight and landing rights, access to airfields and airports, amd the stationing of American intelligence officers on Pakistani territory.

The administration also is asking Pakistan to seal its border with Afghanistan, apparently to prevent bin Laden and his allies from leaving the country.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday the United States will measure its relations with other countries on the stand they take on terrorism.

Reaching out to Syria and six other Arab countries for support, Powell said, "This has become a new benchmark, a new way of measuring the relationship and what we can do together."

Powell waited Friday for a response from Pakistan on the U.S. requests. He said he was encouraged by his contacts with President Pervez Musharraf and other Pakistani officials, but had no definitive response.

A Pakistani official, insisting on anonymity, said the United States was discussing a comprehensive strike to wipe out a whole network of terrorists operating from secret bases in Afghanistan, which has a 1,560-mile border with Pakistan.

Richard Haass, head of policy planning for the State Department, said Thursday in a London BBC news interview that no country, including Iran, is ruled out of a coalition against terrorist threats around the globe.

"I am not ruling out anybody," Haass said. "The Iranians made a very positive statement in response to what happened. They have a long history of opposition to the Taliban."

Haass added: "The U.S. and Iran have consulted in diplomatic frameworks about Afghanistan. I would not rule out the possibility at the moment of any country necessarily working with the United States and the international community."

Iran, like Syria, is listed by the State Department as a sponsor of terrorism, and the United States has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1980.

Pakistan, meanwhile, has been cited by the State Department as a country that is host to at least one terrorist organization.

Three other senior administration officials, refusing to be quoted by name, questioned whether Iran would be invited to join an anti-terrorism coalition.

There are benefits and also costs to coalition warfare, one official said, and the United States will weigh them carefully.

Another official said that while Iran shares some of the United States' views on Afghanistan, it is speculation to believe Iran is prepared to take action against international terror.

Meanwhile, Rep. Porter Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he assumed Pakistan "will respond favoably if they are sincere about leaning forward toward a free and democratic society."

Goss, a former Central Intelligence Agency official, recently visited Pakistan and met with Gen. Musharraf.

Stepping up his quest for a united global front against terrorism, Powell worked the telephones Friday, talking to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, and ministers in India, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Japan, Kuwait and Bahrain. He also talked to Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa of Syria and Defense Minister Binyamin ben-Eliezer of Israel.

American ambassadors around the world were making parallel pitches to officials in host countries, seeking to deprive terrorist groups of the funds they need to finance the kind of suicidal operations that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York, part of the Pentagon, and killed and injured thousands of people.

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